Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beef's 2013 year in review and 2014 resolutions and thoughts.

Well its that time of the year again where I will talk about what happened this year and what I want to do the next. So sit back and enjoy the read. Wall of text (and nice pictures!) alert. 

This year has been an intense year of wargaming happenings. Loads of cool kick-starters finally materialising and being shipped to gamers. Crazy amounts of GW releases in terms of models and codexes and online supplements. The quality of the models are so high I honestly think GW are truly in a league of their own now. And they couldn't be doing any better. We truly are living in a Golden age of wargaming, at least for 40K in my opinion. 

While I have always been struggling to get any real gaming going on for 40k (as I have been for so many years) this did not stop me from buying and starting new armies! However like many the initial impetus to buy and build and start and army dies down after the first couple of painted models, something which I really want to address in next years hobby resolutions. 

Let's start with a little year in review and recap.

I did a Necron army, and used my airbrush to help me speed things up. Although it isn't complete I have done almost 60% of the hard work and it shall be finished come 2014. 

 Also when the new Space Marine codex got released for 6th Edition I thought it was the perfect excuse for me to finally do up my Ultramarines army that I have been yearning to do for so many years (which self respecting 40K fanboy wouldn't have dreamt of doing an Ultramarine army sometime in their lives?).

So I went ahead to purchase lots of new models and fixed them up. Unfortunately I only got one painted test model. And the remaining army of approximately 3000pts is still sitting in grey plastic.

2013, the year where I actually got more gaming in than I ever had in the 16 years of collecting and painting little plastic/lead men. Those who know me know that I've always been leaning towards the modelling/painting aspects of the hobby rather than gaming itself. 

And the game that I've been so eagerly playing? Flames of war. That's right, I've always been a GW fanboy from the start (Heck I was even working in Games-workshop for some time!) and here I am finding myself so emerged in a gaming system that isn't Fantasy/40K. I can't speak enough of how much fun I actually get when playing FOW, be it the relaxed atmosphere that is probably due to the combination of game balance, flow and player demographic. So those who have not given FOW a shot before, I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Here you can see a Total-War multiplayer game in progress. 

A lot of my hobby time this year was also spent on terrain, mainly 15mm scale terrain for FOW. I know am proud to say I have enough terrain to densely fill up two full sized 6 x 4" tables to play in my own home! And those who play FOW know how much terrain plays a vital role in the game! Visually stunning tables are a war gamers dream, and I have done it! 

Here you can see my two tables set up for Flames of war in my home. 

Another army I started and finished (woohoo surprise!) this year was an Isreali tank army for the newly released Flames of War games set in a different era from World War 2. This was set in 1967 when the Arab World joined forces in an attempt to wipe Isreal from the map of the world. This was the Arab-Isreali War of 1967. 

The models are absolutely lovely and I painted all 20 Tanks in one go. Took me about 2 weeks. 

Onto other gaming I have also been playing quite a lot of Zombicide. Both with my gaming pals and my wife! Which is a great bonus as we get to spend more quality time with each other. And with the second season of Zombicide shipped I know have a metric load of zombies and new scenarios to play with! Only problem is getting them all painted up! But that's something which unfortunately is not something I can see happening anytime soon. There's just too much other stuff in the painting queue.

Another awesome Kickstarter that happened this year is undoubtedly Mantic's Deadzone. Touted as Mantic's answer to GW's defunct Necromunda game. This game garnered an unprecedented amount of interest. Needless to say I was too. 

The models are honestly nothing fantastic compared to GW's offerings but I'm not done yet. The magic in this game is the terrain system they have. Modular, plastic, cheap as hell. I repeat. CHEAP. and they are beautiful to boot! I will be trying my hands into the Deadzone ruleset but my main purpose for this kickstarter was for the terrain. 

These are definitely going to see action in my 40k games (another new year resolution) and of course the recently released but so much potential and fun ruleset for Kill Team! More on Kill Team as I talk about 2014. 

Here you can see my finished Deadzone terrain. I went to work immediately when it arrived. And spammed my airbrush to aid in the speeding up of the painting process. What you see below is just 1/4 of the total amount of terrain I got from the Deadzone Kickstarter. All for just $150usd. I'll say it again, CHEAP.

Alright that's about it for the 2013 side of things now let's jump straight into what's happening for 2014.

These are my resolutions for 2014.
1) Paint more miniatures
2) Play more 40K
3) Buy less miniatures
4) Play more Flames of War
5) Blog more

Ok let me elaborate a little, although I know everyone's wish is to play and paint more, the realities of life has this ability to take all our time away. So that's why I want to pen this down so that I can have something to refer to and hopefully commit to the best of my ability! One big event that is happening in 2014 is the arrival of my second child. So that is definitely going to sake things up a little!

This may sound pretty obvious but hear me out. I have been painting quite a bit this year, however I am spending most of it painting terrain, not miniatures. Thus I want to make it a point to paint more miniatures now that I have already done so much terrain to game with.

What's in the painting queue then?

Firstly I want to finish up my Russian Army for Flames of War, I already have 70% of my stuff painted (all 5000pts worth of them) and I think the final push to round up the painting for them is definitely do-able.

Next up is to finish up my Necron army, like I mentioned they too are in a good state of progress so finishing them is not an uphill task. Which I would really want to do as I love the colour scheme I did for them.

Then I want to actually get round to painting my Ultramarines. Notice I say get round to, this is because I know realistically that I would probably A) lose my painting interest as they are totally unpainted thus meaning craploads of painting to be done B) not enough time. It'll probably be a combination of both but I want to at least try.

Finally I want to start keeping track of painted miniatures again like I did for 2012 as I realised that without one this year in 2013, my painting production is really lacking as I did not give/set myself a target to work towards. Looking back I painted so much stuff in 2012 it was scary. I can't remember the exact number but it amounted to almost 300. That's like about a miniature everyday. Wicked.

We are living in a Golden age. Beautiful plastic models, blistering releases for codexes to keep armies up to date. An edition that got me more interested in the game than in the past 4 editions I've been involved in. I want to play. Nuff said. Problem is juggling real life constraints and arrangements with gaming buddies as everyone's busy.

Haven't we all heard this before? And we still end up spending without even looking at the receipt when the plastic crack calls out to us. With a second child looming on the horizon hopefully I can restraint myself a little more. Although I know it's probably going to be futile......

This may sound strange seeing that I have already mentioned I've been playing a lot of FOW. Well this is just a remainder to myself that although I want to try playing more 40K in 2014, I need to maintain my regular playing group together or else things slip into the cracks easily and I may find myself falling out of it.

Last but not least I need to make myself blog more. Looking back my blog count has dropped tremendously this year and that's not something I want to see continue to spiral into oblivion.

I haven't been slacking off documenting stuff, in fact I've been doing tons. Problem is that they are all in other channels other than here on the blog. Instagram, Facebook groups, twitter etc. I admit that's the easy and lazy way out. And I'm more guilty of that than ever. So here I am pledging to doing it more in 2014.

If you have followed me thus far I must offer my sincere gratitude for your interest and time. And let me wish you a great hobby year ahead for 2014. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Batrep: 1850 Eldar vs Space Marines

Was invited to a game yesterday at our LGS. Marshall got me to play before I head off for the Christmas holidays. Ironically, I ended up playing with another chap named Su Jin, but I will call him Jin for short. 

I prepared a 1850 list based on a balanced list I had in mind for awhile. This is what I brought:
Autarch: Firesabre, Jetbike 
Farseer: Mantle of the Laughing God, Runes of Witnessing, Witchblade, Jetbike
Fire Dragons x8: Wave Serpent - Holofields, Twin Linked Scatter Lasers (proxy), Shuriken Cannon (proxy) [I actually have the conversion bits from FW, just have not gotten round to doing it as I was working on the Warp Spiders]
Dire Avengers x10: Wave Serpent - Holofields, Twin Linked Scatter Lasers (proxy), Shuriken Cannon (proxy)
Dire Avengers x10: Wave Serpent - Holofields, Twin Linked Scatter Lasers (proxy), Shuriken Cannon (proxy)
Windrider Jetbike x3
Windrider Jetbike x3
Warp Spiders x8
Warp Spiders x8
Fire Prism: Holo Fields, Shuriken Cannon (proxy)
War Walker x2: Bright Lance (proxy), Scatter Laser

My opponent brought an interesting Space Marine list with a few key items:
2 Techmarines to bolster defences for 2 major ruins which played a huge part in keeping a lot of his units alive
1 large death star with Medic and a few assorted minions
Thunderfire cannon
3 Librarians which all brought along Prescience - technically he rolled for other spells but defaulted to it

The rest are in the pictures so you'll see them! 

Mission: Emperor's Will
Deployment: Dawn of War

My Farseer took the powers: Guide, Prescience and Executioner

Night Fight was rolled and it was in effect Turn 1. I won the roll off and chose to go first

My left flank anchored around the objective on the 2nd floor. Wave Serpent on the right contains the Fire Dragons

My right flank anchored by Walkers in the ruins with the Fire Prism on the furthest right flank

My powers

My other unit of Warp Spiders hidden behind the ruins. The Autarch on the Jetbike will be supporting the push to the right where the other objective lay

2 units of Jetbikes in Reserve - planned to keep them in as long as possible

Left side of my opponent's field. It's a WYSIWYG army except for the Rhino which was a Razorback. This terrain had 3+ from the Techmarine bolstering defences

Jin's deathstar deployed right in the middle of the field. I felt this was a huge mistake. My entire army would now focus everything it had at it

This other terrain piece was also reinforced (3+ cover) and held the other objective. I was going to contest and push on the right

And right behind, his Warlord hid next to his Vindicator

Thunderfire cannon on the ruins

I moved my Fire Prism up the right targeting the Deathstar

While the others move up and open fire on that same unit. Meanwhile the Spiders on the left made a 12" teleport move into the terrain but one stayed in the Warp! 

And more shots

Leaving only one chap remaining, the Librarian. Firstblood was mine! 
Ray: 1
Jin: 0

In Jin's Turn 1 he quickly pulls back the remaining biker to his backfield. He then opens up on the Spiders. Nothing much really happened due to Night Fight as I was pretty much at long range to most things

My first Jetbike unit arrives in Turn 2 despite the Autarch

While the Serpents all move up at 6", readying the Serpent Shield

Focussed my fire into the Scouts in the ruins to the left 

Unit of Warp Spiders contribute to the hail of shots and remarkably 3 men fell back, but still very much alive

Meanwhile the other unit of Spiders together with the Autarch moves up on the right flank to engage his Scouts

Shooting did not do much to wound them so I had to charge

Managed to kill enough to route them. Did not pursue to see if they fell off the board. They didn't, naturally

Jin's Turn 2, he moved the remaining Land Speeder up the middle field. Unfortunately nothing much happened in his shooting phase

Jin charges his men back into combat with my unit of Spiders + Autarch

While I slowly encircle his army and inch closer to the objective

In my turn 3, my Walker gets immobilised when it tried to leave the ruins. 

So it does it's best to snipe the Razorback in the ruins

While the combat continued. Important note: USE HIT AND RUN especially at the end of the opponent's turn. Lesson learnt

Kept holding on the left flank not wanting to let Jin creep his men up. I believe I removed his Thunderfire cannon here after a concentrated volley of fire from the Serpents

Turn 3, the aftermath

Jin manages to wreck my Serpent carrying my Dire Avengers (proxy). Out they spill

Turn 4, I moved the Dire Avengers up and then the final unit of Jetbikes arrive. I move the Farseer up to assist the combat as well, a mistake in hindsight

Jin's Scouts move back up while I disembark my other unit of Dire Avengers into the ruins that contained the objective

Ran into the ruins, capturing it in 4

Opened up on the Missile Launcher Marine on the 3rd floor and took him out

Combat is joined

The rest of my army on the right flank

Managed to kill off the final Scouts in Turn 5

But in Turn 5, Jin charged and killed off my Farseer and the other Jetbike unit. 

Then I learnt about Hit & Run and opted to run

The left side of the field

The Eldar jaws were closing in

The other Jetbike unit moved up to reduce the Marines but the 3+ ruins really saved their bacon

Since I set up the charge, I moved in to charge the Scout, supported by my Autarch. The Spider remained to contest the objective

Unfortunately the Scouts didn't run off the table. 

Scouts regrouped and both units charged into my Autarch, Spider and Jetbikes. 
Ray: 1 - Firstblood + 1 Objective =2
Jin: 1 - Slay the Warlord

We rolled for Turn 6. If it ended, I would win by 1.

4 came up. Turn 6 then!

In Turn 6 I moved my Serpent up and quickly disembarked my Fire Dragons to contest the objective

A wider shot of the table and what was left 

Dead pile at the right but both ruins still had a ton of his Marines

Jin managed to kill off my remaining Jetbiker

In Jin's Turn 6 he moved forward to shoot then charge my Dragons. 

He charged his Inquisitor (proxy) into my Warp Spiders

But did not manage to do enough. My Spiders chose to Hit & Run, moving them closer to Jin's objective
End of Turn 6, the score was:
Ray: 1 + 1 = 2
Jin: 1 + 1 = 2

Jin managed to secure his objective. Turn 6 gave him the point he needed to draw the game!

So we rolled for Turn 7. Boom, I rolled a 6! Another turn!  

In an amazing show of Warping, the Spiders made a 17" move (11+6) and made it super close to the objective

The Wave Serpent at the back left took aim and started raining fire on the squad holding the objective

With this many Eldar shooting on them, it was over. The last Marine fell over and the game was won.
I managed to score Line Breaker

Final score:
Ray: 1 (First Blood) +1 (Objective) +1 (Line Breaker) +1 (Slay the Warlord) = 4
Jin: 1 (Slay the Warlord)

This was one of the few games that I will remember for a long time. Starting with the game, I didn't know what I was actually knowing. I spent the first 2 turns flipping the book and Jin was nice enough to let me refer. I will be doing my homework for the next game. Then I saw this unit right at the front of his army, I took the bait and went all out on it, destroying and netting me some good early points. It put Jin on the back foot allowing me to move where I pleased. I thought I had the game in the bag until I realised how difficult it was to dig them out of the reinforced ruins. Shot after shot, they survived. In hindsight, I would have used the Serpents to further wither them down and force them to move out of the terrain. The Spiders just didn't have the hitting power compared to shooting. Close Combat should really be the last option for this army.

That being said, I enjoyed every minute of the game and am looking forward to the next one. 


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